UK Sweets – Eat A Black, Jack, Do it Again…

Reviewed by Jonny

April 9, 2009

Review By : Jonny

Last weekend my wife went to Las Cruces, New Mexico to visit her long time friend Kathleen, who happens to also be a good friend of mine. Kathleen has been living in Scotland for the last 8 years or so, and was visiting her family in New Mexico.

Isn’t this interesting?

Wait, it gets better. When Donna gets home Sunday night, she hauls a HUGE bag out of her suitcase (seriously, it must have weighed over ten pounds easy) and dumped it on the couch. Kathleen had brought me tons of UK candy to check out- a great variety of hand packed bags of sour balls, chews, and a bunch of weird-ass candies I’ve never heard of.

For this, Kathleen, you get a permanent hall pass from me. You could plow your car into the side of my house drunk and I’d get just slightly annoyed. You could severely burn my hand with a cigar, and I’d just excuse myself to go cry in solitude. This is to say of course, THANK YOU.

And it’s the least we can do here at the Candy Gurus to review as much of this crap as possible, right? So starting now, we’ll be doing a series of “UK Candy” reviews. Let’s start with one of my favorites, “Black Jacks”.

As you can see by the photo, Black Jacks are small, square chews. They’re pretty hard, which is always a good thing. They have a licorice, or aniseed, flavor. Therefore, I expected a standard licorice chew. Not so.

“Not even CLOSE, bud!” (name that movie…quick!*)

As you chew these bad boys, a very interesting thing happens. The licorice/anise flavor starts to take on a deep berry flavor. At first, this combination might not seem like it works, but trust me- it works like Ellis Burks. Like Colonel Kurtz. Like….like some other things that rhyme with works too. It’s unique, sweet and interesting. Definite wow factor.

Listen, it tastes freakin’ AWESOME. I was blown away when I first tried one of these. I’m not sure if a licorice hater would be patient enough to stick with these, but who the hell cares? Licorice haters are crazy anyhow.

I don’t know too much history about these candies, but I get the feeling that they’re hella old school, one of the oldest penny candies around in the UK. And once again, this bolsters my theory that the folks over the pond REALLY know what they’re doing when it comes to chewy confections. I could eat these a couple dozen at a time, no problem.

Here’s the rub, though : I don’t know where you guys can buy these. I’m sure there’s scores of online sites that will charge you up the wazoo for them with their VAT charges & such, and buying them from Ebay won’t fare ye much better- everyone selling them is in the UK and most won’t even ship here to the lowly states.

Regardless though, if you can find these, buy them, especially if you have any affection for licorice in any way. These rock. Thanks, homegirl!

Bottom Line : Unique, addictive, delicious.

Would I Buy These Again? : I’m desperately trying to figure out how, man! DAMN IT!!





  1. Jonny

    NICE! You are correct! “Breakfast Club” is a classic!

  2. Madison

    *What is, The Breakfast Club?

  3. Matty

    I just had these again and I think these are underrated. They have licorice AND fruit flavor and it works. WORKS I TELL YOU.
    I give them a solid 10.
    There. I said it.

  4. Denise Ryan

    What do they look like naked?

  5. Swervie

    Aucey review and totally agree. !. Kathleen is a goddamn star. 2, these Blackjacks f-ing rock. And not to be confused with the American version, which are also good. But do not have a berry change after taste.



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